Manila Composers Lab 2019

Manila Composers Lab
© Colourbox

10th Anniversary Celebration

UP College of Music

In 2009, Professor Jonas Baes with a group of young composers based at the University of the Philippines organized a five-day gathering where invited young composers from Asia—those they have been acquainted with in a few events and festivals of contemporary music in the region—had readings of their respective musical pieces by an ad-hoc ensemble also from the university; and such sessions enabling the sharing of ideas and musical concepts, all bent towards a continued search and development of a contemporary musical language that expresses their lives, amidst the ensuing levels of modernity in the region.

Dubbed Manila Composer’s Lab (MCL) appropriately to allude to the openness of the gatherings, this small initiative is to continue and grow into annual “MCL gatherings” for ten years, attracting young composers in Southeast Asia; where eventual support from the likes of the Pro-Helvetia of Switzerland, the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung of Germany, ASEA UNINET of Austria, the MUSAR Foundation, the University of the Philippines and most especially the Goethe Institut enabled rare opportunities to invite well-known experts, composers and ensembles from Europe to work with the young Southeast Asian composers in developing their technical craft, while local counterparts provided perspectives that look inward into their cultural  identities and the modalities of a worldview vis-à-vis their localities. 

This year, the MCL marks ten years of its existence with a five-day event from 25 to 29 March 2019 to be held at the Abelardo Hall, UP College of Music in Diliman, Quezon City. It will feature forums, discussions and workshops from experts and former MCL students who have now advanced their careers as exponents of contemporary music. The Ensemble Hand Werk of Cologne, Germany will be mainly featured  along with the Novo Concertante of Manila, and the Teatro Mulat ng Pilipinas, a local puppet theater ensemble founded by National Artist Amelia La Peña Bonifacio.

The celebrations gravitate to two major concerts on 27 March and 29 March at 7 pm, that feature music by Filipino National Artists Jose Maceda and Ramon P. Santos, and Berliner Kunstpreis awardee Mathias Spahlinger (all three of whom were teachers of MCL Founder and Director Jonas Baes), along with works by Jonas Baes, Josefino Chino Toledo, Verne de la Peña and Alexander John Villanueva.

Manila Composer's Lab Manila Composer's Lab

Schedule of events

March 25 (Monday)
9:00-9:30am - Forum 1 by Dr. Jonas Baes
10:00-10:30am - Forum 2 by Chow JunYan
11:00-12:00pm - Forum 3 by Feliz Macahis
1:00-1:30pm - Forum 4 by Choke Vanesa
2:00-2:30pm - Forum 5 by Septian Dwi Cahyo
3:00-3:30pm - Tugma Performance
4:00-4:30 - Forum 6 by Trinh Luong
5:00-5:30 - Forum 7 by Jose Buencamino

March 26 (Tuesday)
10:00-12:00pm - Score Reading 1 with Ensemble Handwerk (for clarinet, piano, percussion)
1:00-5:00pm - Individual Consultation with Feliz Macahis and Chow JunYan
6:00-8:00pm - Rehearsal: Concert 1 with Ensemble Handwerk
8:30-9:00pm - Novo Concertante Manila

March 27 (Wednesday)
9:00-11:30am - Rehearsal: Concert 1 with Ensemble Handwerk
1:00-1:30pm - Forum 9 by Peter Edwards
2:30-3:00pm - Forum 10 by Dr. Verne dela Pena
7:00-9:00pm - Concert 1, AHA

March 28 (Thursday)
10:00-12:00pm - Score reading 2 with Ensemble Handwerk (for cello, flute)
1:00-5:00pm - Composers Lab (Young Composers Workshop with Ensemble Handwerk)
6:00-8:00pm - Rehearsal: Concert 2 with Ensemble Handwerk
7:30-9:00pm - Novo Concertante Manila

March 29 (Friday)
5:00-6:30pm - Pre-concert Lecture
7:00-9:00pm - Concert 2, Maceda Hall Garden

For further details on the schedule of workshops, talks, and forums, please contact Ms. Pauline Arejola by email:  



UP College of Music

University of the Philippines Diliman
Osmeña Avenue
1101 Diliman, Quezon City

+63 2 817 0978